Who doesn’t love Autumn? Autumn’s arrival is heralded with festivals in the Month of October in West Bengal. India can be named a land of festivals because of its unique cultural diversity. October is the peak season of Festivals in West Bengal. So, if you’re traveling in October in West Bengal, you will see the extent of its beauty that you can never see in any other months of the year. You must have heard a lot about Durga Puja, and for the travelers of Kolkata, it is worthless to explain. However, the less heard and experienced part of this season is about the festivals that are celebrated in North Bengal Hills and Dooars regions of West Bengal. Not only the autumn rejuvenates the beauty in this time of the year but also brings the time of happiness and celebrations for the people of North Bengal. So, the reasons to visit North Bengal rural destinations can be many, but if you are traveling in October, there are few inevitable experiences that the travelers should never escape while their visit to North Bengal in this time of the year.
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The Festival Time :
After the prolonged wetness of monsoon and the tiresome days spent in the paddy fields, it is the resting time for the farmers to await the fruit of their sweat. The orange orchards start to get laden with fruits with few trees already turning into a Christmas tree hanging the brights bulbs of light. The winds bring with it the scent of happiness. The sky slowly becomes crystal clear forming the color of an aquamarine. This perhaps reminds the people to wipe out all the clouds of doubts and enmity and reunite in a single color of happiness. The marigold blooms to its fullest size just letting the people decorate the doors of their houses heralding the beauty of Autumn. Above all, the most important festivals that fall in this month are the biggest annual festivals for the people of mostly all the tribes of hills and Dooars areas of North Bengal.
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” Dasei in the hills “: If you are Traveling in October.
These festivals is often related to the victory of Truth over evil. This festival is also called Dusshera in other parts of India. In other parts of the states, people celebrate it by burning the statue of Ravana ( The demon king of the famous Epic – Ramayana). However, in the hills of North Bengal, people celebrate in a different way. The Younger relatives respectfully visit their elders and accept their blessings. This is the time when even the cold relationships in the families unite together forgetting all the bitter pasts. The elders give their blessings in the form of “Tika” made of rice, curd, and red color. The young relatives also offer respect by giving gifts to their elders that are called ” Sisaar”. They cook grand feasts in every house combining the cultural dishes, meat, and local drinks. Almost all the people in the villages celebrate in their fullest mood.
So, traveling in October to north Bengal is to meet the Time of Dasei. Never miss the chance to participate in the festival with your hosts to enjoy the food and drinks.
“Tihar in the Hills”
Tihar approaches with series of the festival that starts with “Kaag Tihar- The festival of Crows”. This is when people feed and give their respect to the crows. Then on the 2nd day, people celebrate “Kukur Tihar- The festival of Dogs”. This is the day when people worship dogs. You will often find the stray dogs roaming happily wearing the garland of flowers. The third and the final day is “Gai Tihar”-. In this day the whole area worships the goddess of wealth -Laxmi, in the form of a cow. The whole hills celebrate the night of this auspicious day as Diwali in all other parts of India. However, the hills celebrate it in a different way. All the girts of the villages form a group and visit every house in the village offering their blessings in form of a song called ” Bhailani”. The owner of the houses opens their doors to all of them. They believe them as the goddess of Wealth ” Laxmi” and in return offer them donations, food, and drinks. For a whole night, you can find groups of girls continuously visiting the houses and singing Bhailani. The nest day is again the turn of boys. This day people worship oxen. For the whole day the male group visit door to door of every house singing ” Deusurey Ram” and collect donations.
The Nature When you are traveling in October:
The fields and orchards will be full of the fruits ripening slowly. The rivers will be in its full youthful vigor after the end of monsoon. This is the time when people harvest most of the fruits and vegetables after a long time of Monsoon. Fruits like Oranges, Avocados, strawberries will start to take its color, as the first fruit of the season. The time of trekking in North Bengal also start with this season. So if you want to avail the beauty of Neora Valley National Park
and other forests, then traveling in October is the right time to enjoy the trekking. The famous trekking routes like the river trekking in North bengal
, Rachela trek
, Aadma and lepchakha trek
also start with this season.